The female passerby noticed a leg sticking out of the suitcase, which was on a sidewalk on E. 114th St., across from Thomas Jefferson Park, police said.
Horrified, the passerby called 911 about 12:15 a.m. Wednesday.
The dead woman, described as black and about 25 to 35 years-old, suffered trauma to her head, police said. She was clothed. Police have not released her name.
Her death was not immediately classified as a homicide, and the medical examiner will determine the cause.
Detectives are investigating the possibility the woman was killed elsewhere and dumped from a car onto the sidewalk, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly told reporters.
The suitcase was found barely three blocks away from the E. 116th St. entrance to the FDR Drive, which would have allowed for a quick getaway.
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